Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Public incitement of hatred?

A newspaper ad I would love to see in response to the PQ ads.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Time to shame the PQ and its leaders

My biggest worry about the Parti Québécois’ Charter of Bigotry--or whatever they euphemistically call it--is anecdotal evidence that liberal-minded Quebecers are now thinking about leaving Quebec.

The PQ hasn’t banned emigration yet, so it is your choice to stay or leave. But before you get too far in your exit strategy, please consider an alternative.

Shame the PQ.

Shame its ministers, and its leaders. Every one of them. Refuse to shake any of their hands. Walk out of restaurants when you see one of them. Don’t participate in events if PQ leaders are present. Cancel your meetings with them. 

Ostracize them in exactly the same way they seek to ostracize so many Quebecers.

Take the lead of Radio-Canada television host Marie-Josée Taillefer, who while at the Gala des Gémeaux on Sunday, September 16, 2013 spoke out against the Charter of Bigotry, with Premier Marois in the audience. Must-see-TV at its finest. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPtKMW6BuFw.

If you must interact with the PQ at all, ask one question over and over: Have you no sense of decency?

As long as the PQ believes it can--without consequence--lob irresponsible and divisive legislative bills into the public sphere, they won’t stop. Only when their leaders feel the red-hot shame, embarrassment and ostracization directed at them by Quebecers will they begin acting like responsible stewards of government.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A new dream for a new Quebec

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the fabric over their head but by the content of their character.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The PQ's newest de-normalization campaign

The goal of anti-smoking laws was to de-normalize cigarette smoking. It worked. Smokers are now frowned upon and non-smokers think it's okay to give them dirty looks, even when they smoke outside on a terrace, near and entrance to a building, or in a park. Why? Because everyone knows that smoking isn't normal and smokers are weirdos the rest of us can bully.

Same deal with Bill 101 and all subsequent updates, like Bill 14. The goal was to de-normalize the use of English and it has mostly worked. Think of the IGA manager who told the employee he couldn't speak English in the lunch room. Or the allergic man assaulted at a hospital cafeteria by a fellow patron for speaking English. Why did average citizens act this way? Because the government sent the message loud and clear that speaking English isn't normal and English speakers are weirdos the rest of us can bully.

The Charter of Quebec Values is more of the same. The goal is to de-normalize people who practice religion. The act of drawing attention to kippahs, hijabs, or turbans has the effect of making wearers self-conscious -- just like smokers and English-speakers. It doesn't matter if the rules don't apply to private companies. The government sent the message loud and clear that religious symbols and those who wear them are weirdos we can bully. I heard a clip on CBC radio today from a doctor who wears a hijab who has received more questions and some negative comments about it in the last few weeks than in the past decade.

The PQ's de-normalization campaign has started. Even if the bill doesn't become law, the PQ has successfully made religious people self-conscious -- just like English-speakers and just like smokers. The doctor said she was thinking of leaving Quebec, by the way.

Quebec has no state religion, except for...

Yes, Mr. Drainville, the Quebec state is secular, unless you count the PQ's cult-like devotion to the holy trinity of sovereignty, language, and "values."

PQ playbook revealed

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bernard Landry and the "but-we-copulated-with-other-peoples-hundreds-of-years-ago" defense against charges of modern xenophobia

Bernard Landry is sooooooo angry by reports from English-language media in the rest of Canada about the possible kippah/turban/hijab ban. He says that they are calling Quebec xenophobic and racist. In fact, they are calling the proposed law and it's proponents xenophobic and racist -- not Quebec as a whole.

But putting that aside, he can't understand why they would call "Quebec" (however defined) xenophobic. Don't they know French settlers knocked up some first nations women 300 years ago? Don't they know they later wooed Irish women?

It's the "but-we-copulated-with-other-peoples-hundreds-of-years-ago" defense against charges of modern xenophobia! No matter what the proposed law, you can mention that you great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather did the nasty with local women not of your colour/race/religion and then your proposed law becomes awesome! Not at all racist!

Here are Landry's comments:
"It's infuriating but it's so pathetic to go and say that Quebec is xenophobic and racist — when from the start of our national adventure we intermingled with Amerindians. The majority of us have Amerindian roots, one-quarter of us have Irish roots, we have had six premiers of Irish origin. What are these people talking about? Why are they so misinformed in the rest of Canada? ... 
He also mentions one African-born member of the PQ. And one Latino member of the BQ. That's great, but, again, this isn't a get out of jail free card, Bernie.
"Do they think our culture minister was born on Ile d'Orleans? It's (Cameroonian native) Maka Kotto. We (the PQ) elected the first black person in the Quebec national assembly. The Bloc Québécois elected the first Latino to the Parliament of Canada. They should open their eyes."
Maybe President Putin will use this strategy in defense of his anti-gay law and reveal that his great-uncle had a same-sex fling with the local Czarist official. If it worked for Bernie, maybe it will work for Vlad.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Charter of Quebec Values: explained

I wish the PQ has the courage to explain it this way. Until then, here is a fake video.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Parti Québécois to table ‘Quebec Charter of Value Meals’

Parti Québécois to table ‘Quebec Charter of Value Meals’
August 25, 2013

Minister Drainville worried about how much
space some foods take on Quebec menus.
(Photo: The Gazette)
QUEBEC CITY—The minority government of Premier Pauline Marois wants to prohibit public employees from eating items such as shish taouk, butter chicken, and some types of pizza as part of a value meal--sometimes called combos, or trios--in a broad ban that could extend from elementary and university teachers to nurses and child-care workers.

The minister responsible for the Quebec Charter of Value Meals, Bernard Drainville, says that in the battle to safeguard French-Quebec culture, previous governments have underestimated the role of reasonably-priced fast food on the minds of the nation.

The PQ is expected to table new rules in the fall, following the passage of the previously announced Quebec Charter of Values.

“It will not only provide clear rules and a framework for which foods public-sector employees are allowed to buy, it will also affirm a number of foods that a vast majority of Quebecers enjoy such as cheese, tourtière, and pouding chômeur,” Drainville said. “I am confident we can have this debate in a respectful manner, in a serene manner.”

Yet just last week, Drainville was among those who sparked a debate on value meals when he opposed a decision by Tim Horton’s to introduce smoked meat at their concessions inside Quebec government institutions. Drainville argued against giving minority foods privileges denied to other foods, like poutine, not on the menu.

Liberal Leader Philippe Couillard questioned the need to revisit the issue of value meals.

“If the aim explicitly or not is to divide Quebecers again I am not in agreement at all,” Couillard said. “This issue about adding smoked meat to a menu is for the bellies of  Quebecers to decide.”

But Drainville argues the government has a responsibility to ensure the primacy of Quebec foods.

“As a society, we cannot allow our native dishes to be overtaken by those from other parts of the world,” Drainville said. “I have nothing against smoked meat. Indeed, some of my best friends eat smoked meat. I am only concerned by how much space these foods take on our menus.”

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Help give Quebec a proper French name

Join me in forcing the PQ government to change the name of our province, which I have always found too Algonquin-ish. 

Once the language inspectors start poking around the government itself, I trust Premier Marois will take the courageous stand and rename our home something more French. I propose Ici

(If Radio-Canada complains it is too similar to their new name, Premier Marois should explain that [1] Quebec never approved their name change, and [2] Quebec doesn't recognize it.)

Here's my complaint letter to the language inspectors: I am disturbed by the widespread use of the Algonquin word 'Québec'. I have seen it on many signs related to commercial, educational, and healthcare And also on many government offices including: 75 boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, 125 rue Sherbrooke Ouest . Even in Quebec City at 1045 Rue des Parlementaires. I am a proud language sentinnel, I urge you to protect us from the Algonquin influence.

You can complain too using the OLQF's very advanced Word doc or (non-fillable) PDF.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Is Montreal a bilingual city: not the right question to ask mayoral candidates

A few mayoral candidates have been asked by CJAD's Tommy Schnurmacher recently the following: "Is Montreal a bilingual city?"

Their pat answer is something like: "No, Montreal is a French city. But bilingualism is a great benefit and makes Montreal an international city."

The candidates are able to skate around the issue because the question is not precise. Take the term "French city." Montreal could be called a Quebec city, or a Canadian city, or a North American city. But it is not a "French city," France having long ago abandoned its former colony.

Pedantic? A touch. But we're going for clarity here. So, a more accurate version of Tommy's question is: "Is Montreal a French-speaking city."

But even this formulation could be interpreted as a question about demographics, as in: "Is the population of Montreal mostly French speaking." You can check the census data for the answer. It is not a political question. So this cannot be what Tommy meant to ask.

In politics, the question usually should begin with an "ought" not an "is." An ought is about what we want to have happen. An is relates to facts about the universe that can be Googled.

What Tommy meant to ask, then, was: "Ought the municipal government of Montreal provide bilingual services to residents, without them having to ask for it."

The question, asked in this way, leaves no room for misinterpretation and requires a clear yes or no. It's not about demographics but about public policy, which is the business would-be municipal leaders are in.

This is the question Tommy (and voters) should be asking of the mayoral candidates.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

A tale of two Ici

Radio-Canada is changing its name. I get that Ici is shorter and easier for people to enter in a web browser. But other than that this is a dumb decision. Ici is too generic.
"The problem with a generic brand is its inability to differentiate the brand from the competition." - Al Ries and Laura Ries, the 22 Immutable Laws of Branding.
Also, Ici calls to mind the Office québécoise de la langue française multi-million dollar waste-of-money campaign to convince people to use French in stores rather than, you know, whatever language they damn well want to use.

Separated at birth?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

PQ vows an end to chicken in an independent Quebec

The latest PQ attack on food is outrageous. First pasta. Now chicken. Write to your MNA to express your opinion.